May 8, 2006
58, Number 30
May 8 , 2006
PCORE talks with Mandl about master plan
by Christi Gray
Chair Donna Wong opened the semester’s last meeting of the President’s Commission on Race and Ethnicity (PCORE), April 24 at 3 p.m. in 400 Administration, by introducing Executive Vice President Mike Mandl, who discussed the campus master plan.
In a brief overview, Mandl said there are four primary areas of focus for the plan: residential life, which will include building a new freshman village with new dorms; academic space, which will consist of new theology, ethics, public health, psychology, chemistry and medicine facilities; the Clifton Road Redevelopment Project, including the relocation of Emory Healthcare facilities; and the Clifton Community Partnership, which re-imagines not only the Emory campus but the entire surrounding community.
A student member asked Mandl what the reasoning is behind creating new facilities for departments that are already strong and well known, like theology and public health, instead of putting money into programs that aren’t as strong, specifically an arts facility that can house more students.
“We are putting money into places where we’re already strong to make those areas better by providing adequate facilities,” Mandl said. “We need to provide adequate facilities to all areas of the University.”
Another member asked if there would be a dedicated space for an office of concerns on race and ethnicity on central campus, similar to the Center for Women.
“The issues of allocation of space haven’t been discussed, but office buildings for Campus Life programs are being created,” Mandl said.
Mandl then was asked about the upcoming hike in parking fees, due to go into effect in February 2007 for faculty and staff. Mandl said the University has made the decision to stop subsidizing the cost of parking for single-occupancy vehicles, and the increased parking fees simply reflect the true cost of maintaining campus parking facilities.
Vera Rorie, assistant dean of Campus Life, asked if any consideration has been given to flexible work scheduling or other alternate work arrangements. Mandl said many departments already have in place such arrangements, and Human Resources is working on an marketing plan to expand awareness of such options. “Telecommuting is job-specific, and it’s hard to have a universal approach,” he said. “We have to look at it on a local level.”
Next, Wong introduced Leslie Harris, associate professor of history and African American studies, and Gary Hauk, vice president and deputy to the president, who head up the Transforming Community Project (TCP). The project is a five-year program that takes an honest, comprehensive look at the issue of race at Emory—past, current and into the future.
Harris said the TCP is taking a two-prong approach: creating Community Dialogues that encompass readings, films and discussions about race; and recovering Emory history around racial issues by gathering information about the University from all types of people.
“What [TCP is] about relates to the strategic plan by being inquiry driven, ethically engaged, confronting the human experience and condition, and confronting race and difference,” Hauk said, referring not only to the plan’s themes and initiatives but also to Emory’s vision statement.
Hauk added that one of the hopes is for TCP to become a model for other institutions; Harris said other similar programs are looking mostly only at slavery.
“We are involved with the whole Emory community,” she said. “Ours is much broader, as we are exploring yesterday, today and tomorrow.”
In other business, Wong announced that, on May 9 from 4–5 p.m., PCORE will co-sponsor a roundtable discussion on the search for a senior vice provost for diversity and community development in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library. The event is open to the entire Emory community.
In new officer elections, Jennifer Crabb from the Association of Emory Alumni was voted chair-elect. Crabb will become chair in 2007–08; next year’s chair is Alex Escobar, senior lecturer in biology.
If you have a question or concern for PCORE, e-mail Chair Donna Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org.